Medway defeat was the kick up the backside we needed – coach Stanley

Last week’s defeat was the wake-up call Eastbourne rugby club needed, reckons coach Roger Stanley.

The Blue and Golds fell to a disappointing reverse at Medway, running in just one try in a 34-5 loss.

That brought their unbeaten run in London South East Division Three to an end, but Stanley believes it was a useful experience.

His side meet Bromley at Park Avenue tomorrow afternoon (Saturday – 2.15pm) determined to bounce back.

He said, “Long term it (the defeat) has probably given us a kick up the backside, you just need those kind of results now and again to reinforce the need to work hard and keep on improving.

“I know they can play better than that, particularly around the ball area. We’ve done a lot of work on that this week in training.

“Bromley are similar to us; looking at their results they don’t always travel well, but we can’t afford to not play at our best – if we are 90 per cent it won’t be enough.

“The mood is still good, numbers are good at training, we’re keeping on working, nobody’s gone into their shell because of that result.”

A top-four finish is still very much in sight for Eastbourne, but their points difference is significantly inferior to that of Folkestone, who currently occupy fourth spot.

Stanley added, “Only by playing tough games do you play any better. I think this is a league in which any team can beat any other team on their day, right from the very top to the very bottom. That’s a good league to be in.”

Nathan Ring is set to replace Paul Keen at scrum half on Saturday.

EASTBOURNE: Baron, Oakey, Stevenson, Mottram, Tobin, Benniman, Buttle, Groenen, Ring, Hughes-Gage, Walker, Smith, Williams, Clark, Everett.